Zenith Aircraft Company is returning to Florida this winter to host its popular hands-on workshop session. The workshop will be held January 24 & 25, 2020, in Edgewater, Florida. Earlier this fall the company hosted a successful workshop session at the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase (held November 14 -16 in DeLand, FL) which included kit assembly demonstrations of the high-wing STOL CH 750 Super Duty sport utility aircraft in addition to the standard “Zenith workshop” where participants built the rudder tail section of a Zenith aircraft, such as the high-wing CH 750 or low-wing CH 650 model.
With the demise of the annual Sebring Expo (held in January in Sebring, FL), Zenith has decided instead to return with its workshop to Edgewater, Florida (located south of Daytona Beach), hosted by Wheels and Wings at the Massey Ranch Airpark in Edgewater. Headed by Herman Eshuis, Wheels and Wings provides professional builders assistance and kit finishing services, specializing in Zenith kit aircraft and light-sport aircraft (LSA).
The Florida workshop will start on Friday morning, January 24. The hands-on workshop is primarily for the first-time airplane builder, and has become popular with sport aviation enthusiasts who are considering to build their own aircraft and are unsure if they have the required skills, workspace and tools. During the workshop each participant builds and assembles their own Zenith aircraft rudder tail section from a standard Zenith kit, and concludes on Saturday, January 25.
In the process of building the rudder assembly, participants tackle many activities including learning how to read drawings (blueprints) and work with assembly instructions (manuals) under the expert guidance of factory staff. They learn the procedures for putting together an aircraft assembly, including drilling and blind riveting. In the end, they have an assembled rudder that is ready to install on a Zenith kit airplane.
“The rest of the kit is constructed the same way as the rudder, using the same tools,” said Sebastien Heintz, president of Zenith Aircraft Company. “People get far more out of the workshop than just a finished aircraft rudder: they go home with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to build their own airplane. Most importantly, they learn that kit building is enjoyable and something that can engage the whole family. Many of our prospective builders bring their spouses or other family member, who often encourage them to move forward with the rest of the kit. With modern technology and good instructions, aircraft construction has become much easier than most people think.”
The hands-on workshop is an excellent way to learn about building your own amateur-built kit aircraft and about the many advantages of owning and flying an airplane that you’ve built yourself. Kit aircraft is a segment of general aviation that is growing while much of general aviation continues to decline. For many, building an aircraft (from a kit) is a very rewarding experience, and today’s modern kits make it easier and quicker to build than even before.
Standard workshop fees are $375 (or $425 for the CH 750 Super Duty model) and include the complete rudder kit for a Zenith aircraft. Additional helpers are encouraged to attend and can participate for free. To learn more about the workshop program, visit zenithair.com or call Zenith Aircraft directly: (573) 581-9000 (Mon–Fri, 8-5 Central) or Wheels and Wings at (386) 690-4239. Prior registration is required for the rudder workshop.
Also on Saturday, January 25, Wheels and Wings will host a Zenith fly-in at its facilities at the Massey Ranch Airpark (X50) in Edgewater. All Zeniths are invited to fly in for the day. The informal fly-in will include flying demonstrations and technical sessions for Zenith owners. Enthusiasts and current builders are also invited to attend. More info here and here.
Massey Ranch Airpark is also home of Viking Aircraft Engines, maker of popular Honda-based engine conversions that power many Zeniths. Viking will hold its second annual Viking Engine Workshop on Sunday, January 26 at its facilities. More info.